The Architecture of Florence: What to See During Your Visit

Discover the architectural genius of Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence, Italy
Preview Lecture
Watch on your schedule, you will receive a link to watch the lecture online immedately upon purchase.
1 hour and 10 minutes
Product Type
Florence Duomo
Lecture Details
Photos & Highlights
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Lecture Description
Filippo Brunelleschi transformed the cityscape of Florence with an architectural style inspired by a pagan world: the palaces, basilicas, and temples of Ancient Rome. Yet in the churches and chapels he designed for his native Florence and, above all, in the iconic cupola of the city’s cathedral, his use of light, ‘divine’ ratios, and symbolic forms offered a glimpse of heaven.
Meet Your Expert

Kate (M.Phil.) lectures in Music & Cultural History at various prestigious institutions in Florence, including the British Institute, New York University and the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici. She is also a licenced Italian tour guide. Before moving to Italy in 2007, she was Senior Producer for BBC Arts and Music and, for 10 years, she was Artistic Director of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London. Her post-graduate thesis (1992) led her into the fascinating world of late medieval Florence, via the shadowy, poet-composer Don Paolo da Firenze, since when she has published extensively as an academic, a critic and a journalist.

Cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti traces the formation of one of the most brilliant minds of the Renaissance: the architect and engineer Brunelleschi. He changed the physical landscape of Florence from a maze of medieval towers and fortress-like structures to a harmonious Renaissance city where balance, proportion, and geometry suggest the greater order of things.

We’ll trace his early work as a goldsmith and sculptor in Tuscany, his formative experience in Rome as a ‘treasure hunter’ discovering ancient ruins, and his return to Florence where he masterminds some of the city’s most majestic monuments: the Foundling Hospital, the churches of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito, the Pazzi Chapel and the cupola of Florence’s cathedral, which - when it was finished in the 1430s - was the greatest dome in the world: a vision of heaven on earth.

The lecture will also enhance a broader appreciation of the architecture and ideals of Renaissance Florence. Led by Kate Bolton-Porciatti, a cultural historian specializing in medieval and Renaissance Florence, this interactive lecture will explore Brunelleschi’s monumental genius. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Florence’s historic cityscape.
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Yes! All of our lectures have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

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Our recorded lectures typically run for 60 minutes.

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You are welcome to watch together with friends or family but each person viewing on their own device will need to purchase the lecture individually.

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Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.
(4.95) 40 Reviews

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Excellent description
This presentation was concise and interesting, with a good balance of detailed analysis and broader overviews.
Fabulous informed tour of Florence. Loved having my view directed to the architecture to help me understand the city. Thank you Kate.